Telehealth Visits Skyrocket for Older Adults, but Concerns and Barriers Remain

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Thu, August 20, 2020

New data on telemedicine use by adults over 50 show change since previous poll in 2019, including reduced worries about privacy and virtual interaction. One in four older Americans had a virtual medical visit in the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of them by video, a new telehealth poll finds. That’s much higher than the 4% of people over 50 who said they had ever had a virtual visit with a doctor in a similar poll taken in 2019.

Comfort levels with telehealth, also called telemedicine, have also increased. Back in 2019, most older adults expressed at least one serious concern about trying a telehealth visit. But by mid-2020, the percentage with such concerns had eased, especially among those who had experienced a virtual visit between March and June of this year.

Yet not all older adults see virtual care as an adequate substitute for in-person care, even in a pandemic, the National Poll on Healthy Aging findings show. CBSSM's Jeffrey Kullgren is associate director of the poll. Follow the link below for more information on the poll's findings.